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Tran, M., Choi, I., Moon, G. J., Vu, A. V., Kang, M. S..  2020.  A Stealthier Partitioning Attack against Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Network. 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :894—909.

Network adversaries, such as malicious transit autonomous systems (ASes), have been shown to be capable of partitioning the Bitcoin's peer-to-peer network via routing-level attacks; e.g., a network adversary exploits a BGP vulnerability and performs a prefix hijacking attack (viz. Apostolaki et al. [3]). Due to the nature of BGP operation, such a hijacking is globally observable and thus enables immediate detection of the attack and the identification of the perpetrator. In this paper, we present a stealthier attack, which we call the EREBUS attack, that partitions the Bitcoin network without any routing manipulations, which makes the attack undetectable to control-plane and even to data-plane detectors. The novel aspect of EREBUS is that it makes the adversary AS a natural man-in-the-middle network of all the peer connections of one or more targeted Bitcoin nodes by patiently influencing the targeted nodes' peering decision. We show that affecting the peering decision of a Bitcoin node, which is believed to be infeasible after a series of bug patches against the earlier Eclipse attack [29], is possible for the network adversary that can use abundant network address resources (e.g., spoofing millions of IP addresses in many other ASes) reliably for an extended period of time at a negligible cost. The EREBUS attack is readily available for large ASes, such as Tier-1 and large Tier-2 ASes, against the vast majority of 10K public Bitcoin nodes with only about 520 bit/s of attack traffic rate per targeted Bitcoin node and a modest (e.g., 5-6 weeks) attack execution period. The EREBUS attack can be mounted by nation-state adversaries who would be willing to execute sophisticated attack strategies patiently to compromise cryptocurrencies (e.g., control the consensus, take down a cryptocurrency, censor transactions). As the attack exploits the topological advantage of being a network adversary but not the specific vulnerabilities of Bitcoin core, no quick patches seem to be available. We discuss that some naive solutions (e.g., whitelisting, rate-limiting) are ineffective and third-party proxy solutions may worsen the Bitcoin's centralization problem. We provide some suggested modifications to the Bitcoin core and show that they effectively make the EREBUS attack significantly harder; yet, their non-trivial changes to the Bitcoin's network operation (e.g., peering dynamics, propagation delays) should be examined thoroughly before their wide deployment.

Komulainen, A., Nilsson, J., Sterner, U..  2017.  Effects of Topology Information on Routing in Contention-Based Underwater Acoustic Networks. OCEANS 2017 - Aberdeen. :1–7.

Underwater acoustic networks is an enabling technology for a range of applications such as mine countermeasures, intelligence and reconnaissance. Common for these applications is a need for robust information distribution while minimizing energy consumption. In terrestrial wireless networks topology information is often used to enhance the efficiency of routing, in terms of higher capacity and less overhead. In this paper we asses the effects of topology information on routing in underwater acoustic networks. More specifically, the interplay between long propagation delays, contention-based channels access and dissemination of varying degrees of topology information is investigated. The study is based on network simulations of a number of network protocols that make use of varying amounts of topology information. The results indicate that, in the considered scenario, relying on local topology information to reduce retransmissions may have adverse effects on the reliability. The difficult channel conditions and the contention-based channels access methods create a need for an increased amount of diversity, i.e., more retransmissions. In the scenario considered, an opportunistic flooding approach is a better, both in terms of robustness and energy consumption.